This is one of those posts that would probably come off as a very cool video riff, if I didn’t have a face for radio. So, a bit of a rambling brain dump follows. Be forewarned.
Just finished an article titled Everywhere and Nowhere.
The premise basically is that the walled gardens of social networking today (Facebook, MySpace, LI, and others) are really the walled gardens of old (AOL) and that users, because none of the walled gardens can provide best of breed services in all facets force users to use other services to go beyond the walls to do anything useful.
There is a lot of “truthiness” to this, but it goes deeper than that.
More than once today I have heard or read about microblogging on Twitter and Seesmic driving folks away from blogging, where before I have heard that blogging was driving out the notion of the corporate website.
In fact, what is really happening is that one’s online identity, brand, presence, persona, whatever – is all of these and none of these. It is necessary for one to have a corporate website, like it is necessary to blog in some form, like it is necessary to have some take on social networking – but none of these are sufficient means in and of themselves. The social web is a diffuse concept and doesn’t live solely on Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Bebo. FriendFeed, Plaxo, and SocialThing! try to aggregate some of this above the flow conversation, but aggregation has yet to solve the diffusion of attention, content, and services that comprise our online presence.
What it means is that for one to be successful on the web today is that you have to work your ass off (as Loren of 1938media so aptly put it in his video on A-Listers), because the easy breezy salad days are gone. One must be everywhere at once, or at least be very, very smart about where their presence is most needed online at any given time.
The FB app land grab is way over and you can’t throw a rock in any direction without hitting someone who was at Davos, or TED, or SXSW, or Burning Man. Everybody has a blog. Everyone is in affiliate marketing.
Sadly, very few people have anything of value to say, or to listen to.
I twittered earlier today that one should BE or DO something interesting, and the rest would take care of itself.
My advice therefore for anyone trying to grok their way through social networking 2008 is to take care of the message first, and the appropriate medium will present itself.
Just be prepared to be Everywhere and Nowhere somewhere along the way.